Parkland, FL Turns to CivicPlus® and Monsido to Meet Resident Engagement and Evolving Accessibility Needs

Keys to Project: :

Ensure the continual website health and ADA compliance


Parkland, FL


Parkland, Florida city seal


Move to a more affordable website accessibility and quality assurance solution.


Monsido powered by CivicPlus


Significant improvement in its accessibility compliance score in three months and a 30% reduction in accessibility tasks.

The City of Parkland can be found at the northwest corner of Broward County, Florida. Staying true to its name, The Parkland Planning and Zoning Division’s mission is to uphold standards outlined in the Code of Ordinances that ensure development projects protect, promote, and enhance the natural beauty and character of the community. It is that developmental mindset that brought Parkland and CivicPlus together originally in 2009 to create a digital footprint for the city of Parkland through the modernization of resident communication and service strategies.

Working with CivicPlus and now Monsido by CivicPlus, Parkland wanted to ensure the continuing health of their website and their compliance in an ever-evolving landscape of accessibility legislation. With the accessibility compliance and quality assurance tools provided by Monsido, Parkland is able to efficiently act to ensure that its website content is continually monitored for issues and to immediately correct those issues.

CivicPlus spoke with Melissa VanKannel, Digital Media and Communications Specialist for the City of Parkland about her experiences working with Monsido and CivicPlus. VanKannel explained, “There are three people in our communications team, the director of communications, a communications manager, and me. I handle the web administrative duties, the graphics, the video, etc., the Manager handles more of the writing, and then the Director oversees everything and handles more of the press, the media, and the commission.”

VanKannel explained that while the price was the primary motivator to switch from their original web governance and compliance solution, Siteimprove, she has really appreciated the personal support she has received from Monsido. Previously, Parkland’s IT department maintained the accessibility score of the website, before transferring those duties to the communications department, and VanKannel specifically.

Starting from square one with a new product can be daunting but initial discussions with the Monsido customer success manager proved to be invaluable in learning how to address potential issues and correct any issues efficiently and proactively. This is done with Monsido’s Accessibility Fast Track® function, which can steadily improve the website’s accessibility score.


  • Accessibility has been a priority for Parkland’s website this year, and utilizing the Monsido tool, the community has seen a significant improvement in the accessibility compliance score in just three months and a 30% reduction in accessibility tasks.
  • Monsido FastTrack ® saved time by solving accessible issues in bulks.

Quality Assurance

The administrative upkeep of the website is primarily VanKannel ‘s responsibility, in addition to the primary accessibility and inclusivity goals. “One of the Monsido modules I like is quality assurance. I think our score is great. It’s a 97 right now. This module saves time by locating broken links and issues throughout the site instead of combing through the website manually. We have a population of around 40,000 compared to other cities that are over 100,000. So, they would have many more departments than we do, but it’s still a lot of pages to comb through, regardless of the size of your municipality.”

VanKannel explained that, for example, some people just take PDFs down from the website without communicating with her and think that the job is done. This assumption is incorrect; the link still exists on the web page but does not have a valid destination. In the past, VanKannel would have been unaware, “But with Monsido, I’m able to tell that’s why it’s broken.”

In discussing the previous process, VanKannel stated, “ For a while, there was only an image on a page for an event, and it’s not accessible. Now, we at least include text that states what the event is, when it is, where it takes place, and a short description.”


As a one-person team with a plethora of external content contributors, using the Monsido and CivicPlus solutions has become an essential aspect of her daily activities. It allows her to streamline workflows to save time and provide access to information that can ensure the quality and inclusivity of the website.

  • ADA Compliance/Accessibility
  • 97%+ Quality Assurance Score

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Statistics

Another aspect of the Monsido solution that has enhanced and streamlined website management workflows is the SEO functionality. VanKannel elaborated stating, “[The SEO Module] saves time because I don’t have to go into each page and click the title of it. I didn’t even know that some of our pages didn’t have a description before. Now, I know that missing descriptions lowers our score. I always say a lot of our pages don’t have a description and so instead of me having to comb through the whole website, at least I’m able to pinpoint which ones need to be focused on.”

“With Google Analytics, I did a lot of research on the building department, and it’s always permitting information that are the most utilized pages. I track the statistics every Thursday morning and include an analytics report to my director. With that data, for example, we can start a video campaign about how to utilize the new system for pulling permits, because we know a lot of people are searching for permits.”


  • Increased SEO to ensure residents are finding what they are looking for quickly, with ease.
  • Data-driven content to enhance civic experiences.

Resident Engaging Website Functionality

Utilizing the CivicPlus Website Content Management System (CMS) also enhances the efficiency of VanKannel’s administrative workload and ensures the quality of all website content through an automated approval process. In addition, the administrative and collaborative ease of use has empowered the City to promote and highlight important news in a timely manner.

“Our upper management likes to see important information on the home page without having to click,” VanKannel explained, as resident expectations for immediacy have evolved.

“Our Parkland Day page gets a lot of hits leading up to the event because we direct all the residents to go there for information. So, the website has been a great source of information for Parkland residents. One thing that has been different from other cities I worked for, demographically, is most people don’t really do billboards or signs or print ads. It’s more digital. Everyone has an iPhone or smartphone. Kids have one, it’s the new normal; that’s how people find information now, on the web, online.”

When asked if there were any additional functionality that made her life easier, VanKannel responded, “The widget tools are great, just inputting content; it’s simple and straightforward. I had to give a training last week for the Parks and Rec staff on how to create pages and the process it entails. I didn’t have to do much talking; it was more just showing them the steps. It’s kind of like Myspace back in the day, intuitive, you know? When you figure something out, you’re like ‘Oh, that’s really cool.’”

VanKannel also noted that instead of popping in multiple logos for sponsors and having 10 logos cluttering the bottom of the page, they are able to easily add a widget with a slideshow of the logos, which staff has loved.

Easily integrated payment options allow residents to pay for rarks and recreation classes online “It’s just a link that we put on our website,” said VanKannel.

“One final thing, talking about functionality is the form Center for CivicPlus Websites. That’s just something I wanted to applaud or give kudos to. The form center is really helpful, moving away from old-school paper applications, everyone just submits it online and we love the fact that you can have it notify certain people with their e-mail. So that’s great. It saves a lot of time, and it’s great to have a backup, like having a record. You can pull it easier than having a physical copy. Our park staff utilizes that. We have a farmer’s market and that’s how they submit some applications, but they want to start doing that more for summer camp programs or smaller classes like cooking classes or dance classes. We just did another one for our advisory boards, so the city clerk uses the form center a lot, and it’s great.”


  • Streamlined content collaboration and enhanced website maintenance and design capabilities for internal staff.
  • Automation of manual processes for various department services like permit and license applications including payment.


Creating a digital footprint has provided the community of Parkland a central hub for information and services that are able to meet the expectations of their tech-savvy residents. The partnership with CivicPlus has provided the City of Parkland staff with time-saving workflows and infrastructure that has created new efficiencies and quality standards that enhance accessibility and communication efforts that lead to improved resident engagement and positive civic experiences.

So, though VanKannel has a big job to do in keeping the website content relevant, engaging, and accessible, she feels that Parkland picked the right partner to work with in CivicPlus and appreciates the customer support.

“With a smaller company than CivicPlus, you might not have that support staff that you need.”

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